The sinful blacks give way to pristine whites. The deep purples and gorgeous greens fade away into soft lilacs and pale pistachios. The volume and bulk ease out to make room for linear, fluid silhouettes. The skirts stop at mid-calf and the tailored uppers hug the body beautifully.
As the cold party months run their brief course and the sultry Calcutta spring lurks on the none-too-distant horizon, your wardrobe experiences a mandatory makeover. And it's no longer just about taking out the woollens and throwing in some singlets. The coming season calls for a whole new look, touch and feel to fill your wardrobe with an entirely different definition.
This year the transformation could be bolder than ever before. As designer Anamika Khanna puts it: 'It's time to move away from the mix-and-match, anything-goes look and go back to the classic look, one that shows you've taken care to dress up.' That does call for a fair amount of fashion cleansing.
But why turn the spotlight on spring style when the woollens are still very much around' Simple. Every designer worth his/her stitch is well into spring-summer mode. And so, Metro on Sunday brings you tomorrow's trends today, with a sneak peek at what designs Calcutta's couture kings/queens have on spring-summer '06.
'My woman has grown up now,' reveals fashion guru Sabyasachi, unveiling his 'womanly and sophisticated' look for spring 2006 . The Nair Sisters, his offering for the season, had been previewed to mixed reviews at the India Fashion Week 2005 and the collection is now set to hit the racks of Selfridges and Brown's in London, along with a few stores in Switzerland and West Asia.
Lots of prints on chiffons, discharge printing, handblock printing, Swarovski shimmer on cotton, soft and subtle layering define the look of the line. Culottes, chiffon coats, ranch-look Prairie jackets, gathered-at-the-waist skirts of the 1960s, wrap tops, oversized shirts and blouson dresses make up the collection.
The colours are understated ' mellow green, ivory and coffee browns. 'The collection has a lot of European street influences and the colours are drawn from Renaissance Botticelli paintings,' says Sabyasachi.
While this makes up his international line, the designer has created a separate collection for his clientele back home. French chiffon saris, kurtas that are either micro-mini or very long, small wrap kurtas teamed with culottes and more shape this line. The fabric picks from mulmul, chiffon, khadi, voile, georgette and matka, with hints of satin and velvet. The palette comprises lots of ivory, beige, cinnamon, pale blue and pistachio.
'For me, it was time to get rid of bohemia and return to a simple and classic look, but with shocking highlights so that boredom doesn't set in,' is Anamika's mantra for the season. And in sync with the mood, sharper and cleaner silhouettes make up her collection.
The techniques are mostly hand-done, rustic and old-fashioned methods reinvented. So one can expect to see 18th century needlework, appliques, extensive use of chintz along with fine pleats, gathers, textures, tucking, pinning and transparency. The colours draw from ecology ' a riot of seaweed green, ivory, browns of rice and pebbles, with shocking highlights. Rich decorations dot the poor fabrics like muslin, light cottons and even gauze, though a liberal dose of chiffon breathes in freshness. Tin and copper provide a metallic touch.
'The collection has resulted from my intensive global travel. I have borrowed heavily from ancient textiles and craft techniques, from south Asia, right up to France,' admits Anamika.
'We decided to start with the fabric ' chiffon ' and the whole line followed from that,' designer Pali Sachdev narrates the flow of the spring story. So, chiffons form the mainstay of the collection, the look of which is 'unfinished and rough'.
A sequel to the designer duo's 1997 collection titled Rags to Riches, this one comes with the title Rags to Riches 2. Floral prints and hand-paint embellished with velvet trimmings and applique decorate the outfits. Lots of skirts with subtle underlayering, churidars with long kurtas and tunics dominate. Unfinished necklines and ruffled edges define the look. The mood is soft and flowing. The colour focus is on neutrals ' tussar, beige, white, ivory, browns ' offset with a dash of purple and turquoise. Black, too, is big.
Kiran Uttam Ghosh
'Simple and clean with a hint of the Edwardian feel.' That's Kiran's call this summer. Long, lean and tailored silhouettes are combined with volume and layering. The focal point, says Kiran, is the 'quirky and interesting' play of pastels. While white, white and more white is the way to be, the palette picks on aquamarine, lavender, lilac, yellows, toffee, smoky blue and pink and shades of rose. Bolero jackets and 'lots of knits' dominate.
The 'romance of the English countryside' inspires Shantanu's super-feminine international line titled Eliza. Washed-out pastels, English rose prints, long flowing dresses and soft layers make up the look. Fitted but flowy mid-calf length skirts, dresses and long kurtas wear a transparent feel with chiffons, nets and georgettes being the fabric focus. The silhouettes are shapely and fluid; the colours pale lavender, aquamarine, old rose and soft pinks.
Shantanu's Indian collection sports a 'British Raj crossover' look with lots of kalamkari and appliques . Earthy and warm Indian colours like ochre, amber and pale coral and old coin sequins dominate. The all-cotton collection is titled Nomad.